September 29, 2006
Spurs have signed a 15-year-old goalkeeper from Sweden, who should do well in the Championship. [Sky Sports]
Mark van Bommel has been called up for Euro 2008 qualifiers as a reward for not criticizing Marco van Basten, unlike a certain Real Madrid striker. [FOXSports.com]
Gerald Asamoah will be out of the news and out of the Schalke team for a while after breaking his leg in two places. [Reuters]
Raymond Domenech will be carrying on his slave trading practices for another four years, or until France emphatically crash out of Euro 2008 in the group stage. [CNN International]
Kieran Richardson among those comically named in the England squad. [TheFA.com]
Two unbeaten sides remain in the English Premier League, and one of them faces the most difficult fixture in the entire league. Rafa Benitez changes his side again. A fat Irishman will try to take on Arsenal’s remaining English defender. While yet another boring match will take place at Bramall Lane. Yes, it really is Round 7 of the EPL.
September 28, 2006
Benito Carbone will now officially bring that Italian flare to Sydney FC, and his new manager thinks he will stay the whole season. [The Australian]
Radhi Jaidi announced his international retirement and his intent to keep his word. [The Guardian]
FC Kobenhavn’s Swedish international Marcus Allback is questioning Thomas Gravesen’s toughness. [Ireland On-Line]
Arsene Wenger can call himself Arsenal manager for life. [Sky Sports]
DC United are going to block the most amount of money MLS will ever get for Freddy Adu. [Clubcall]
September 27, 2006
With 40 matches tomorrow, it is difficult to preview all of them. However, many of the ties are already effectively over as contests leaving a much smaller selection to choose from, thankfully.
So I present to you my selection of five interesting matches tomorrow, and hopefully they do indeed entertain.
Plenty of action in tonight’s eight Champions League matches and there were remarkably no scoreless draws.
Chelsea knocked off Levski Sofia with a Didier Drogba hat-trick, but they will be disappointed that Mariyan Ognyanov scored for the Bulgarian side. Lionel Messi grabbed a late equalizer to salvage a point for Barcelona in their 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen.
Spartak Moscow and Sporting Lisbon played out a 1-1 draw in the first Champions League match played on an artificial surface. Inter fell to bottom of the group as their nine-men fell to Bayern Munich 2-0 with Fabio Grosso and Zlatan Ibrahimovic seeing red.
Mika Vayrynen was scored the only goal in PSV’s 1-0 triumph at Bordeaux. Peter Crouch scored a brace with Luis Garcia on the scoresheet, but Umit Karan made it a game with a second half brace of his own. However, Liverpool held on for the 3-2 win at Anfield.
Shakhtar and Olympiakos battled to a 2-2 draw in an end-to-end match. Valencia and Roma combined for three goals in the first half-hour, but the hosts managed to kill the game off after David Villa’s goal and took it 2-1.
Kaka is no fan of Carlo Ancelotti’s tactics against Lille last night. [Eurosport]
Bjorn Helge Riise has been called into the Norway squad along with his much more recognizable brother. [CNN International]
Anthony Le Tallec wants nothing to do with Liverpool anymore. [Sky Sports]
Leeds United are taking a look at an Iraqi-born goalkeeper playing at non-league Woking. [ITV]
Sydney FC are replacing their old chairman with the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. [The Australian]
Last season, David Pleat filed occasional scouting reports on players in the lower divisions of England and one player in Egypt in the Guardian. This season, that role has been filled by Steve Claridge who has looked at a pair of strikers in Scunthorpe’s Billy Sharp and Bournemouth’s James Hayter.
But one year on, what has happened to those players David Pleat heaped praise upon. Find out after the jump.
September 26, 2006
Levski Sofia v. Chelsea – Levski host their first ever Champions League home game against the world’s most expensive team. They are coming off a 3-0 win over strugglers Rodopa in a Bulgarian league that many consider too large. However, they continue to top the table and have not conceded in their first seven league matches.
Frank Lampard finally looked like he regained some form in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West London rivals Fulham on Saturday. The England midfielder scored both goals, and will probably score another pair against arguably the weakest team in the draw.
Werder Bremen v. Barcelona – Werder are coming off an entertaining but ultimately disappointing draw against Hamburg, and they cannot afford the kinds of defensive mistakes they made against Chelsea on Matchday 1. Miroslav Klose should be fit to start against the Catalan giants.
Barcelona failed to take full points against Valencia yet again in La Liga action and they were fortunate to even get a point thanks to an Andres Iniesta goal. Barça beat Werder by a combined 5-1 scoreline in their two Champions League matches last season, and they will be expected to produce similar results this time around.
Spartak Moscow v. Sporting Lisbon – Spartak’s 3-0 win over Rubin Kazan kept them third place in the Russian Premier League table, but they only sit two points behind leaders CSKA with nine matches remaining. The Red-Whites were disappointingly thumped by Bayern Munich on Matchday 1 and they will hope to play much, much better at home.
Sporting’s 2-0 win against Aves kept them three points behind Superliga leaders Porto in weekend action. Marco Caneira delivered a stunning goal in their first match against Inter and are expected to take their second win of the group in Moscow.
Inter v. Bayern Munich – Inter took the Serie A lead on Sunday, but they will be without Patrick Vieira, who got himself sent off against Sporting two weeks ago. The Nerazzuri continue to have problems at the back as they nearly blew a four goal lead in the last 20 minutes against Chievo.
Bayern Munich went top of the Bundesliga with their 2-1 win over newly-promoted Aachen. The Bavarian giants have struggled at times this season and in Claudio Pizarro and Lukas Podolski they have two unsettled strikers. This could turn out to be a high-scoring draw.
Bordeaux v. PSV Eindhoven – Manager Ricardo Gomes signed a contract extension this week which should prove a boost to a side that has had mixed form in Ligue 1 this season. Jean-Claude Darcheville and Wendell scored a minute apart in their 2-1 win over Troyes. The former will be fighting it out with Marouane Chamakh for a starting spot.
PSV are without four first-team players for their trip into France after Patrick Kluivert limped off during their 2-0 win over ADO Den Haag. Jason Culina, Philip Cocu and Jefferson Farfan are the other players on PSV’s injured list. Ibrahim Afellay is back as these two sides battle to be the first to score a goal in Group C play.
Liverpool v. Galatasaray – Rafa Benitez has spent a lot of time in the buildup talking about why he has changed his team for Liverpool’s last 93 games. He deflected the questions superbly by taking attention away from himself and talking about Liverpool’s history. The Reds are coming off a 3-0 win over a Spurs team that laid down for them, and I doubt Galatasaray will do the same.
Galatasaray were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by Trabzonspor on Saturday, but the Turkish side are excellent at grinding out results against superior sides in Europe. Unfortunately, this means that this match has 0-0 written all over it.
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Olympiakos – The Ukrainian champions were crushed 4-0 by a rampant Roma side in their group opener. Even their league form is unremarkable by their standards as they still top the table despite their 1-1 draw with Dnipro this weekend.
Olympiakos did well to stay with Valencia in their group opener, and will be expecting to get a result on the back of that performance. A 1-0 win courtesy of an own goal against AEK kept them top of the National League table.
Valencia v. Roma – Valencia dominated play on the weekend in Barcelona, but they could only claim a point which kept them third in La Liga. The three striker formation worked wonders on the weekend, but the lack of finishing has to be a concern for Valencia.
Roma manager Luciano Spalletti was angry with his side after their 4-0 win over Parma on Saturday as he claimed the match was won by Vincenzo Montella and Simone Perotta with poor performances everywhere else. The Giallorossi will be missing Mancini, who has been an important contributor in their season thus far.
Levski 0-3 Chelsea
Werder 1-2 Barcelona
Spartak 1-1 Sporting
Inter 2-0 Bayern
Bordeaux 0-0 PSV
Liverpool 0-0 Galatasaray
Shakhtar 1-3 Olympiakos
Valencia 2-2 Roma
Raul and Ruud van Nistelrooy both hit the net twice in Real Madrid’s 5-1 demolition of Dynamo Kiev. Steaua put up surprisingly little resistance as they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Lyon.
Louis Saha scored a good goal against the run of play that proved to be the only goal of the game in Manchester United’s win over Benfica. Kenny Miller scored from the spot in Celtic’s 1-0 win over FC Kobenhavn.
Dudu scored the lone goal as CSKA Moscow became the latest team to take three points from Hamburg. Thierry Henry and Aliaksandr Hleb scored the goals in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Porto.
Anderlecht and AEK Athens combined for two goals in the space of three minutes in the first half, then could not score again in their 1-1 draw. Milan and Lille played out the only scoreless draw of the night.
Newcastle assistant Kevin Bond is the first to feel the fallout from the BBC Panorama program last week. [BBC]
Daniel Carvalho may be leaving CSKA Moscow for Bordeaux in January. [Sky Sports]
Ruud van Nistelrooy opts to avoid the diplomatic route to ending his international career. [SI.com]
Raul doesn’t believe his international career is coming to an end. [International Herald Tribune]
Sven-Goran Eriksson is close to deciding which team should have the honor of having him as manager. [The Australian]